00:00:00 Hey everyone, it’s Tom Karadza. And on this episode of The Your Life! Your Terms! Show, we talked to Dan Demsky. He is one of the co-founders of Unbound Merino. Nick and him crossed paths, I dunno, some time ago. Um, got to know each other. We thought he’d be a great guest for the podcast. He graciously agreed to come on. He’s an awesome guy. He’s a serial entrepreneur who was frustrated with what he was doing in one of his businesses, wanted a way out and used crowdfunding. And in particular, he used the Indiegogo platform to raise over $400,000 as a proof of concept for a new business. But it not only did it prove there was interest in the new business,
it provided the funding to start the new business. So on this episode of the podcast, you’re gonna listen and get insights into the mind of a serial entrepreneur, learn some of their struggles and challenges and what they go through and how they used a crowdfunding platform to launch one of their businesses.
00:00:50 So it’s really successful right now. I’m actually wearing their product as a, um, record this right now. You’re going to hear that also on the, on the podcast podcast. Uh, just great. A great guy. I’m really, really grateful that Dan agreed to come on and we had a fun chat. So if you are listening to this and you want to get into business or you want to scratch your entrepreneurial itch in some way, you should know that in June 12th and 13th, there’s a 13th and 14th. I think it’s June 13th and 14th. I should probably know this stuff, whatever that Thursday and Friday on is. Uh, in June it is the 13th and 14th. June 13th and 14th. Um, is it, hold on, I’m telling my, it’s June 13th and 14th, um, in the of this year, 2019 we have a two day entrepreneurs’ summit that we are hosting where we share all the different things that we are doing, um, from around Facebook advertising and marketing and how we’re using youtube.
00:01:49 And basically everything we’re doing in business, all the mistakes we’ve made over the years. And one of the things that we’ve done is we’ve put together a Rock Star entrepreneur blueprint where we’ve outlined all the things, wish we wish we knew to start a business or to grow an existing business. So we’re going to share that, but we’re also going to share some advanced topics. So some of the things that we didn’t share last year, so if you were at last year’s entrepreneur summit, you’re coming again, you’re going to get exposed to some advanced concepts as well. So we have all that going on over two full days. It’s a, it’s a really Herculean effort it feels like to put this on, but we love doing it. So you can check out all the details for that at Rockstarinnercircle.com/summit. And with that, let’s get on with the show.
00:02:38 Are you ready to live life on your terms? Is it time to take charge business, building the economy, health and nutrition. And it’s The Your Life! Your Terms! Show with Tom and Nick Karadza are you ready? Let’s go.
00:03:04 Okay, we’re alive. Nick, can you hear me? No. So Dan is here with him. They turned these down a bit too loud. Oh yeah. Frank over here. Okay. There we go. How’s that? Better? Yeah. Is it a little bit better? Yeah, it might be too low now. Dan. Dan, what’s your law? I didn’t catch your last name. Demsky Dan Demsky. What background? Um, mighty. I think. Polish. I’m not Polish. Like I don’t, I’ve never been to Poland, but like go back a couple of generations. Polish, Jewish, Polish, Jewish, somewhere in there. Yeah. Yeah. Cool. Yeah. You don’t want to think about multiple times. I’ve thought about it. I haven’t spoken to you in a while. Um, we checked in a couple of times here and there, but every time I go to New York now and I go to a Jewish Deli, I make a point of going to a Jewish Deli. And because I think in him because, yeah, because when we were there, this was during like late night searching for late night pizza slices after a few drinks cause you don’t, after a few drinks I always need pizza and it’s just mandatory.
00:03:55 Does so. And uh, New York has the best pizza. Then you were the one that was talking about the Jewish Delis. I’m like, really? I didn’t even think about that. And bagels. That’s, that’s how I connected my culture of not through Poland, not through like anything religious about Judaism, but being an expert on Deli and bagels. Like if anyone has an opinion that isn’t Jewish, I feel like, like what do you know that’s, that’s my call. Do we have good bagels in Toronto? I’m there. Okay. Oh grief. Spiegel’s it’s up at Wilson and Bathurst. I’d say that’s our spot. That’s our Bagel. But when I go to New York, it’s just a different level man. Different man. I’m not even a big pizza. Got like, I know I used to eat a lot of pizza. Don’t eat so much pizza anymore, but we’d go to New York Pizza.
00:04:36 Oh no, but you can go to a little place off the side of the street pizza. When I think, and Nick, I think of New York in just that late at night, that pizza at pizza we had, and you just like eat, eat it. He started reading. Nick will freak out if we’re leaving somewhere late at night and he and we can’t get food, he will disappear because we’re, we’ll just give up, you know, we’re like, oh my gosh, I guess everything’s closed. I think we were walking away from the UFC fight at Madison Square gardens and we were Wa that’s what it was. We walked by that cookie place and they sold this like midnight cookie or something. SOMNIA cookies. If you had those in New York, there’s a few of them. There’s a full faces. Dan, this cookie was at least, I think it was like three inches thick and they pull them.
00:05:14 It’s just a small little like holding the wall cookie places and I’m like, oh, what does this cookie place? And so I’m like, oh all of one. I guess I’ll just have that chocolate chip cookie. And then they pull it out of a warming drawer underneath and they put it in like a little pizza box and he gave it to me and I was just, I was in heaven. I went back about three more broad than back to the hotel. And the reason I’m sharing this is I think the next night we might’ve been out for some drinks a little bit later and we were looking around for somewhere to eat and everything was kind of close. And Nick’s like, I think the insomnia cookie places open and he, I think he ran like five blocks without us and he came back. You did come back that night to her was, I don’t know if I’m confusing the nights anyway with the pizza box of cookies for everyone. Anyway. Got Who in New York. And when you’re saying leaving Madison Square Garden, you were talking about how like usually food, no food, things are closed and he has to go find food. And like when you’re leaving Madison Square Garden, I don’t care what time or what day.
00:06:03 There’s food is everything. Yeah, there was food options. Um, okay, so cool. Dance here. I guess I was going to ask Dan about some Indeigogo stuff. Just that whole kind of process to kick off. Yeah, go on. Like just so Dan, let’s just to set the context, your current business, because you seem like you’ve been through an entrepreneurial journey of many lives already, but the current focus is Unbound Merino. Yeah. Can you just, I don’t know the story share how you got, well, I mean, I’m Matt Marino. We uh, we make Merino wool clothing. We position it towards travelers. So marina wool people, when they think of marina wool, a lot of people think of scarves, sweaters, like bulky, wooly kind of clothing. But when you can make tee shirts out of it using a superfine Merino wool, you’re wearing one right now. I’m wearing one. I love what you’re wearing.
00:06:51 Your sweater. Yeah. Um, let’s say yes, I think I’m representing over here. I love it. I bought you the damn t-shirt. All right, so this one you didn’t know cause I liked him so much. I bought it in my own. Yeah. So it’s it, it, it doesn’t feel right.
00:07:03 Two dissimilar to cotton. It’s light, it’s soft, it’s not itchy like wool. But seeing as though it is, well it has a natural coating called Lanolin, which makes it antibacterial and odor resistant. So we positioned it towards travelers because you can wear this shirt many times, many days in a row. And even if you sweat in it, it will wick away the sweat and it will never smell because it’s an naturally antibacterial and odor resistant and it wicks away the moister which causes the smell. So, uh, the way, the reason it’s good for a traveler is because instead of packing 14 tee shirts, because they’re going away for two weeks, you can pack a couple because he could rewear them. You don’t have to go find a laundromat. So we’re trying to convince travelers to pack less stuff no matter where you’re going. Just go with a carry on lists of travel, simpler, travel smarter. And that’s kind of our angle and how we got into the market.
00:07:52 And I’ve, I’ve done, I did it and tested it cause I know you wash and still like every time you wear it. But I did it and tested it when I traveled because I want to see and yeah, it worked actually when we traveled. Yeah. It’s interesting you say that when we traveled I just hanging them up. Yeah. I wasn’t watching him because I saw the demo before you guys launched. You’re like, yeah, I think this is what we’re going to do, here’s the product and things like that. And they’re like, I’ve been wearing, I’ve worn this to the, I think he was like, I’ve worn this to the gym. I’ve been wearing it for like a week and you know, smell guys. And then a few of us were like, really? Let me smell it. And then as he’s wearing it, we’re like smelling the tee shirt doesn’t fit staying. So as long as you keep yourself clean, the teacher don’t stay clean. Yeah. Like if you’re, if you yourself as a person or dirty, let’s face it, it’s not, the teacher’s not going to solve that. It doesn’t change your need to shower, keep herself off clean.
00:08:33 But the shirt itself, I kid you not even to this day, it’s still like, it’s been a couple years now. Uh, I, I wore my black crew neck shirt to the condo gym and my Condo, I went on the exercise bike and I was sweating. Bullets came back up. I hung it up on a hanger and the next day I like, I just left it there and forgot. The next day I was going out and I grabbed it. I forgot it was the shirt I wore on the exercise bike and I was about to put it on and I, and I smelled it and it’s like, uh, it’s like, uh, it took it out of the wash. It goes completely clean, complete. Like, and to this day I’m still like, wow. Like I can’t believe it’s because Merino wool doesn’t absorb the moisture. Like cotton is absorbing the moisture and then the bacteria builds and that’s what you’re smelling?
00:09:16 Yes, it’s bacteria because it will absorb into the cotton and it stays there and then it becomes like bacteria forms and that’s the smell. So I never thought we’d have this conversation on this particular podcast, but this is amazing. It’s a very, no, no, I love it as so as long as you Arrow up the shirt. So that’s why he hang it up and let it be any kind of a open, airy kind of space. It will never, you can wear every day and sweat. You sweat in every day. You could do hot yoga in it every day. It will not smell. The only time you want to wash it is if it actually gets dirty because if it gets, you know, you get a stain on it. I mean it’s not stain repellent like it will get dirty. But if it’s true, it’s like jeans, like people will put on a pair of jeans, they’ll go out with their day, might even get Warren, they might even get a bit sweaty, but they’ll wear the next day they just put it back on.
00:10:03 People tend to wash their jeans when they get dirty or maybe they want to shrink it a little bit because it’s like they loosen up. That’s why people washed her jeans and they’re okay with that and they’re used to that. This is something for people. It’s kind of a new way of thinking of teachers, but it’s, I’m used to it now. It’s like my everyday, so I have less stuff at home. I travel. I was going to say, I know you guys are focusing on the travel market, but I feel like there’s a market at that. Like just for simplicity. Like you just need less stuff. You don’t, you feel like there’s like this simplicity movement coming where everybody just wants less technology, less shit, less everything. Just basic crap. Good. I’d rather have less stuff that’s good quality and just, I don’t want it.
00:10:40 Piles of junk. Right. So when we were starting and we had this pitch, we’re going to do a crowdfunding campaign, we’re going to do a pitch of, uh, making it about traveling and for travelers. A lot of people said that’s really narrowing your market. Like you should try to go broader and I really wanted to focus just on the travel aspect because it made everything that we were trying to market more consistent and it was like a very clear message and it was solving a very specific problem and we thought that would work for crowdfunding. Like let’s solve a problem and give benefits to people who want to have a better way to travel rather than just be a broad generic. Other teachers know what you guys did though. Yeah, we focus on travel. People were trying to tell us don’t, it’s too narrow, narrow and it really got me thinking a little baby.
00:11:29 It’s a bad idea because then we’ll just be pigeonholed to being a travel brand. But I’m glad we focused on that because people can buy into the idea through the travel aspect. But if our customers are, are pretty smart, like there are a lot of people are in tech, there are a lot of entrepreneur people there. They kind of, they look at people like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg and say they were the same thing every day and I love simplicity. You can take that message of travel and say I can apply this the rest of my life. And a lot of people are like, our customer are buying like they’ll buy 10 tee shirts and they get rid of the rest of their stuff. I went back to your campaign. You guys crushed it. W W W was like Canadian. It was what, four 90 or something like that?
00:12:10 Yup. It was. And we did too. Oh did you to do too? Yeah, we did two crowdfunding campaigns and the second one was more than the first one. Was it really? So the first one was 490,000 Canadian. Canadian. Yeah, that’s right. Um, the other one, I don’t know what the other one wasn’t Canadian but it was about 400,000 us. Oh Wow. I’ll see you crushed it. So it was a second one for Unbound? Yeah, we did a compact travel hoodie. Huh. So I mean that’s a whole other conversation, but was that what you’re wearing right there? Um, let’s just say yes actually. No, I’m wearing, I’m wearing a different brands. Merino wool hoodie cause I’m just testing out what else is out there and trying to Oh God, what’s good about other brands and stuff? So no, this is not ours but I do like this one.
00:12:50 So did you know about Indiegogo and how to do these kinds of campaigns before? Not at all. So okay. So how did you get to that point then? Well I had another business. I did, I had a video production agency and I also had this sock business where we made funky socks designed by street artists. And the reason I was starting the sock businesses, cause I wanted to create a product because I was just tired of my first business. We had a good run, we were successful. But I lost my passion for it to the point where I, I was pitching clients and I hated it. I hated it. I just hated my clients. I hated everything I was doing. I needed to find that next thing. So getting into a product business was kind of a shift of a business model. It felt like it would be more the kind of life I wanted to live.
00:13:33 But it was never really able to get it off the ground. Um, so I had these two businesses and the idea for Unbound came to me through a series of events. And the reason why we did crowdfunding was because I didn’t have the time to go and say I’m going to invest money and energy into a new business. But what I could do is a crowdfunding campaign because I can do that. We’ve worked on it for a whole year, Friday nights only. And I felt like if we could launch this campaign and it was successful, I could figure out what to do from there with my businesses. Can I focus energy on it? But if it failed, I felt like that’s fine. I scratched the itch. I could see if this idea was good or bad, it was bad. I can walk away. So crowdfunding was a way for me to validate the idea without putting my time and energy and spreading it thin ways, which was already struggling and doing it two ways with my two business.
00:14:25 So what did you work? So I don’t, I don’t know how that would work. What did you work on for a year? On those Friday nights? Do you just post what you want to crowdfund and then you just kind of trying to get the word out? So the idea for Unbound came because I, I didn’t like what was out there in the marina wool business. It was all made as activewear and outdoors where, and I didn’t like the way it fit and it didn’t feel like I couldn’t dress it up and go out. So I, it didn’t solve the need that I had, which was to travel light. So I thought we could do this, we could do this. Um, but I had nothing. I didn’t have a product. I didn’t have suppliers. I didn’t have, um, a brand. You sound like every entrepreneur who starts and yet you had nothing.
00:15:04 Zero. Yeah. So first step was let’s find manufacturers and make prototypes. So we also have no experience and making clothing. I mean, I’m making socks, but that’s a lot simpler than making shirts and sweaters and things of that sort. So, uh, we had to find suppliers, um, build prototypes, get the product to where it was, create a brand on, make the hole, the video to pitch it. So all it was like all the pieces until we had a ready-made product and a way of position, uh, pitching it on this crowdfunding campaign. It’s incrementally took about a year. Got It. Okay. So you had all that stuff lined up, so then when you went to go do the crowdfunding, you’re like, hey, here’s the demo. Roddick was ready, I got, has got to put an order in and we can start shipping. So if you want to buy it, you can buy it on the crowdfunding campaign.
00:15:52 And we only do on Friday nights because my two business partners who are my best friends, um, we all worked. I was traveling. It was a bit of the story was you’re traveling around different concerts around North America or something. Well that’s how we’ve been doing that since high school. Okay. So we’re big fans of this band fish. And that’s how I started as an entrepreneur. Like we were in high school. We wanted to go see Phish shows, but we had no money. So we had to figure out how can we afford, I mean, we were 17, 18, we were going to like Las Vegas, my aunt traveling all around America with no dough at all. But one of us who’s my partner and Unbound, he, he’s very talented as an artist. So he would make these paintings of the band and then we’d make prints and they cost us 50 cents a piece, but we’d sell it for 20 bucks to us and we go outside the show and we just sell posters that my friend created.
00:16:41 Awesome. For trade a poster for 20 bucks and be like, Hey, illegally, I guess no permits or you’re just selling them, right? Yeah, no, of course. Yeah. We weren’t allowed to use the Benz logo or anything depicting them. [inaudible] Alec Painting and stuff. Uh, so we would say we need a 200 bucks to get from here to New Jersey, or you know, that’s against gas and get his food. So we’d sell until we had 200 bucks. They’d go to the next show. And I think I’ve seen like over fit he my anger scene like 70 I’ve seen like 55 Phish shows all in like 20 states law. Most of them when I was in just out of high school. So that was like our first taste of what we can kind of do our own thing. I love stories like that and find out what you’re doing. I guess they see you around the m word must get out to the band that there’s these guys outside selling these cool drawings.
00:17:31 They’re totally cool with it. As long as it doesn’t have a that’s in the spirit of the band. Of course. Yeah. I would think they’d be cool with it. Well the whole, the w funding, how it fish Lee loops back to what we’re doing now with Unbound, if you’d go, you would never notice it because you don’t know fish, but any phish fan that would go through our crowdfunding campaign. It’s full of fish Easter eggs. So there’s little, like even the test when we did 46 days, 46 days is the name of official and that’s why we said we’re going to test it for 46 days. So, um, recently fishes road manager contacted us and they said, oh, I know it’s all the fish a reference it. And I didn’t, I didn’t know who he was. Right. I didn’t know he was from fish. I thought it was just a phish fan cause we get phished fans messaging this all the time.
00:18:17 That’s so cool. Like, uh, I love that you did this and blah blah blah. He’s talking about all the fish references. I said, oh well awesome. I’ll send you some stuff. I do that for Phish fans all the time. So I sent him a couple of shirts, the gift and uh, I found out right before their festival, which ended up being canceled for crazy reasons. But, um, he said, hey, I, I’m going to give you some friends and family passes to come hang with the band. So the festival got canceled, but I was, I’m now like connected to the band. Like I had backstage passes to go hang and meet with them cause they’re like all of it. That’s cool. You came full circle. They’re responsible for like teaching me to be an entrepreneur, an indirect way. And it really is spirit like fueled by our desire to like travel and see shows and it’s a, it’s a part of our spirit and Unbound is like the perfect embodiment of like the life I want to live.
00:19:07 And as soon as I get to hang with fish cause of it, that’s the full circle for sure. So you’re born into Toronto, Toronto area. Okay, cool. Um, and then the, the campaign then, did you have expectations where you’re like, I don’t know if we get, did you have a minimum that you thought, ah, I think there’s a business here we needed, it’s about 60 to 70 grand to start the business. We asked for 30 because we felt like we can get to 100% faster and if we got to 100% faster, it looks like the campaign I attraction and then there’d be more like energy behind it and people would want it back. It more like people are maybe more reluctant if it’s only 20% funded. So yeah, that makes sense. Um, but yeah, we want, I honestly, I really thought it could work. I it, I truthfully felt like this will work and when it does, I’m going to reevaluate what I’m, what I’m doing in my life and focus on this new business because I was wait, ready and willing for it to fail and me to go back and like, okay, I’ll figure out what I’m going to do.
00:20:05 And I thought it could. Um, and it was a little better than I expected. I thought maybe it would do. It sounds like a little bit, it sounds like a lot better than you’re expecting. Yeah. Well once it got to 300 and [inaudible] let’s go to a million, but it wasn’t going to go well, why don’t you, why was the second one? Did you launch it? They’re like, why didn’t you just go out to customers and things like that? I guess you, you feel like you got more exposure. So it’s a good question. We did the first one I told you because we needed it to validate the idea to get the cash start the business. The second one was because the business started growing and growing so fast that our demands on inventory, we’re, so we were selling out of stuff and it was hard for us to predict how much inventory should we buy that it’s going to come in four months when we’re growing at this rate.
00:20:52 We couldn’t afford it. The only way that we’d be able to get the inventory we needed would be if the bank would give us alone, which they wouldn’t cause we didn’t even have a year of financials yet. Um, if, uh, we took it an investment and sold off some equity or got a loan somewhere else or a, if we found some other way to get cash. And I thought, why don’t we just do a crowdfunding campaign and getting, cause when you do crowdfunding, you’re preselling items, but for ridiculous timeline. So I could say we’re going to start production in four or five months and then it’s gonna take four. So we didn’t have to ship for 10 months, so we thought if we could, not long it was something like that, something like that. I don’t know. It might be less, but it’s like at the beginning of the year and we’re shifting.
00:21:37 It wasn’t two months giving us ample amount of time. The customer, they benefit because they’ll get a good deal and getting a package, but we were selling packages with our new combat travel hoodie with a couple of tee shirts, stuff like that, and we did another 400,000 us in that campaign. But that was basically us just getting an injection of cash without us having to sell off the company to start the business. The second we’ve got a solicitor in the indigo, let’s right now launch something. See, but they had a product. I would just launch it with other product and they’d be like, shit, now I gotta go figure out what the product is close. Because in my previous business, I mean the sox business, we never really took off. No one would ever invest in a service based video production agencies. I’ve never had conversations where people want to invest.
00:22:21 But with unbanned when it started taking off, people were messaging me. We had talked to the VC firms, we talked with people that were from my friends that had money, have sold their businesses, people. I had people that would invest in a heartbeat and they were ready and I was this close to approaching them and saying I need cash, let’s do this. But it in it just nod at me in a bad way. Yeah. Cause it’s like right now the business is doing great but it’s a year old and I already know where it could be in a year and two years. Like if I have this conversation in two years I’ll get way more money for a lot less. So I feel like it’s such a, it was, it would be an act of desperation. So the tooth I, I’m a huge, huge advocate of crowdfunding because one, it allowed me to start.
00:23:09 I’ve been an entrepreneur my whole life. So I, I sympathize the people that are in corporate jobs and they have like, oh, they have a mortgage and they have like a dependence and all this stuff. And they think, well, how, you know, even my own brother, like he has a beautiful house and he has a good job and great family and kids and, but he sometimes says like, you know, you know, one day I want to do my own thing. But in his position it’s very hard because it’s a hard road to start. And how do you go from having a good salary with all these dependents, to starting a business that’s your own, without risking everything. And I think the only way you could do it without risking everything is crowdfunding. Because you could find, like I, it was my first opportunity to relate to someone who had obligate, like I needed to eat dinner.
00:23:55 So I started to run my other business. That’s where I made my salary. That’s where I made my money. Um, but I really wanted to start a new business. So it was as if I was in a corporate job. It was a slave to my other business. Crowdfunding, let me on the sidelines, build something and start something completely different. So I don’t care what position you are in life. If you have a full time job, you work for a corporation, you could do that on the side, completely start your own thing and it will fail or a won’t. So starting with the good thing, but crowdfunding is also good when you’re already started.
00:24:26 When do you get, once you get the cash. So like let’s, so after the campaign close, so let’s say you raised, you know, whenever you raised us, the first one was three 50 let’s say three shirts and your 300 w so now you have to go fulfill the orders. Right? So one of the benefits that you’re able to use that money cause that’s presales to fulfill the orders. So did they give it all to you when it closes?
00:24:45 Yeah, so, so we did a two month campaign, we did a one month campaign and you could extend it. Okay. We extended it right at the end. So we had to 30 days in the right and there was like two hours left. We extend the 30 cause you get a lot of rush and that last couple of hours extended it 30 days. But they said that they’ll give us a payout. So we got the first month right then and there and then a week after the second month was done they, they gave it. So yeah. That’s cool. Cause then you get to you because especially for a product based business, right, because you got it. What were you going to worry about ordering inventory at least now you know what to order. But then after for a clothing brand, like that’s the challenges. I would imagine that you’re like well how many larges do we need versus actual artists do need blue or black or gray and you’re raising money without giving up equity. Your customers, your customers are staking you. It’s I believe and they let people like it. Do you know what I call it? Crowdfunding campaigns. I call the millennial infomercials cause it’s kind like right. You have a guy like, like the founder and he’s pitching and he’s trying to tell you the benefits. So then it’s like, but you’re not going to pay this. Right. And see if you get it now you got ad, it really is the same format and you do get that sense if it does close and enough money is raised, you feel like if you’re participating in that that you are like part of the company in some weird way. You really are. Because all those people that bought like… I remember them and there are people that take pride in like I bought it from there, like the the first campaign and, and it means something to them and it means something to me. Like I really don’t take for granted those people funded. I mean they get it, they love the brand, they love the product. But because of them I was able to go and start like, what to me is like my dream business. It’s like exactly the business I want to be doing. Um, they are, they were a part of it. They help it start.
00:26:28 Why do you think this is a business is the business you want to be doing? How do you feel like it has more purpose to you? Yeah, it’s, it’s very authentically me. I mean I’m, I feel like to travel. We’ve traveled your whole life basically. Yeah.
00:26:39 How many around like we’re even run the company remote so we have a, where we ship from here, but we can work from anywhere. So when I travel, like extend the time, I just told you guys I was going to Tokyo, I’m supposed to be, I need to be there for one day, but I’m going for three weeks because I’ll just relocate and just work from there because we’re setting the business up so that we can live that way. So do you have office, do you have some staff here other than the warehouse, the warehouse and then we have contractors and stuff we work with. We don’t have like any, yeah. Awesome. Good for you man. That’s great. Yeah, it’s a really lean run business. Where have you seen your tee shirts being worn in any location? I guess, what’s the favorite place that someone must have sent you a t-shirt from somewhere?
00:27:16 Like look at the Unbound Merino tee shirt here. Yeah, we get, we all, if you look on, there’s not a ton, but if you look at Hashtag Unbound Merino, you can see people wearing them all over the world, but the people that order them are super cool. Like we have like the CEO of Shopify just ordered one. Cool. Um, when we ordered them and we’re pretty cool. Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, I’m actually just listening to that podcast on the Tim Ferriss show of the CEO of Shopify. Talk to him first. The Guy, he’s really interesting dude. Yeah. The, our biggest market is like Tech Bay area. Yeah. The amount of shirts we shipped to Google and Facebook get off that because everybody wants that plain t-shirt. It’s like kind of the Steve Jobs. It’s pricey. It’s pricey because of the material is like really expensive and it’s hard.
00:27:58 It’s expensive to produce, but those people have money and they’re looking for the best stuff. The stuff that performs well, but it’s not like a, it’s not like we’re Gucci where it’s like people are showboating that they’re wearing something expensive. Like I don’t know. Yeah, I don’t have any logo on it at all right now cause I don’t know. Something changed. No visible logos and whenever we’ll, yeah, see that I like go tag a back here either. I really liked that but it fits. Um, well and I remember too, because it’s, yes there’s quality but it’s you guys spend time on the fit obviously. So which goes, goes aligns with the quality, you know what I mean? So quality, it’s like it was, it’s a lot for us to learn and, but we’re relentless on it. So like some of the contractors we work with now, we have a, a product developer that works with Joe Fresh and Lulu Lemon and she comes in and she helps us build out our spec sheets and paper patterns.
00:28:49 So when we started the business, this is how we created our shirt at first. Like I was a little fatter at the time and my two business partners, so Andrew is one of them Hughes, he’s kind of ripped like natural is always like a ripped guy. And then Dean was like this lanky guy so we thought this is great. We’re like three very different body types. Let’s find the sh like shh, like a fit that kind of like looks good on all of us because then we’ll have like we don’t want it to work just for fit people or just for fat people. Like we have all three here, let’s find a nice like good fitting shirt that’s kind of universal. So we’d go to gap and we’d go to H&M and Zara and we try on shirts and be like, oh I like the way the sleeves are on the, on the gap shirt and we just buy all the shirts and we mail out a package to China with where we’d say like okay, the first bundle are the gap shirts and we liked the body here but we don’t like the sleeves.
00:29:44 We like the sleeves here. So we just like your basic getting together a shirt and they would send a sample and then we know it’s good, but the sleeves are still too long or whatever. And we’d said, so this is part of the reason took a year to do, cause you have to send instructions, get another shirt back, send instructions, get another shirt back. And that’s like, now that I know how clothing is made, I can only imagine how like, like Oh anyone even double thought we were dealing, dealing with. But they, they were great and they like gave us the time and the energy until we got her shirt and now we’re ordering like, like tons and tons of stuff with them. So it worked out for them to invest the time in us. But, and they have that story of these crazy Canadians who were sending them dush tee shirts in the mail.
00:30:30 Yeah. Well I remember I went, I was the factory, one of the places we produce it and they’re unbelievable. And trying to like, I was like very like worried to go there and feel like we’re manufacturing. This would be like children. And like you hear these horror stories and like it’s unethical. Like no, I manufacturer in Canada and in China and if anything’s unethical it’s in Canada. Like I walk in there, smells like someone took a dump on the floor and everyone’s miserable. Like it’s shit there shit there. It’s unbelievable. Like they have basketball courts, everyone breaks together and they have like chefs, they make these big awesome, amazing lunches. Uh, and he’s still a factory. So look, you go in, it’s still a factory. And some people might not care to work in a factory, but they have jobs, they’re making people say people are underpaid there. I’ve never seen so many BMWs and a parking lot in my life. Everyone there’s making money. It’s a completely different worlds. So I go there and I’m just, I feel like a bump and I’ll lose it. And like everyone I know here who are like, I know like a lot of interesting, cool people who are doing awesome things. Like we’re all bums compared to them. You guys to those, they’re a different level in China and we have to go. We’ve been meaning to go for so many years. You know what it is. I want to go with Dan because I want to see this factory cause I feel like on a break they’re going to start singing, you know? And if they all start singing some song that I know too, I’m just going to join in and on the set.
00:31:58 You could just see it in the face. It’s like, it’s like you go with them. Look, this is a good vibe here.
00:32:02 I feel like Dan went to the one factory that was like set up on purpose for him to come back and share this really China’s foreign PRs. Like this guy.
00:32:11 Many factories. I’ve even on my last trip I went to one where Nike makes like, uh, what did they make their, they make socks and they make ’em so I’m like undergarment stuff. Um, and that was a different level of factory that I’m used to. And even that was like unreal. Like you think that it would be no Nike invest so much in that country and it, you know it was a factory which is like probably doing like half a billion dollars a year and it’s just like, I’m like the impact of that company is amazing and I thought that would be like pretty bad scene. Like were Nike makes her stuff? I would think.
00:32:49 Well then, I mean like the media hypes that you get around that type of stuff is just, it’s all just bad. Like be more impressed. I wasn’t allowed to take pictures there but I was like noticing things about just how unbelievable Nike is at manufacturing. Like they highlight cause rack where they showed like their preproduction samples and everything was labeled but it was locked and only Nike can unlock it so they can compare like the product quality and like just like the level of, they’re on a manufacturing, obviously it’s Nike, but it was like, it was eyeopening. But our place is unreal. It’s like a car. It’s like a small city. But there’s the fabric cutting section, which has a pole building and there’s another building that does this and other buildings.
00:33:26 Did you find them, if you had no experience doing this, how’d you guys find them in the first one? Like when you decided to start working with male, the randomly mailed a package China to China from Dan and friends, Alibaba and I picked out, I leased a hundred potential manufacturers that they could do Merino wool or they’re saying they can do Merino wool. And I built a questionnaire, asks a number of things, which is also included, can we come visit the factory? It’s very important to us. Um, I had like six or seven questions and how many of them actually took the time to fill it out?
00:34:02 Half. Yeah. Okay. So maybe about half. Um, and then the answers that I got back, I would filter out who are the best and that was based on like how they answered the questions, but also like the language, because I didn’t want to have a language barrier if we’re going to need to rely on these people. So I narrowed it down to about 10 and then from that 10, uh, I picked the best five and we did samples with five of them. And of that five, two of them were like f like their answers were good, communication was fast, it was clear, the products was unbelievable. And we still work with both of them today and now to others as well.
00:34:38 You work with both. Why? Because you don’t want a single point of failure or they do two separate products for you?
00:34:42 Um, I we felt vulnerable having one. We started with one. Yeah, makes economic sense. I agree with that completely. I mean I was just talking to one of our suppliers to whom we shifted some stuff from one to another. Um, and you know, he was like just blown away. Like totally like I don’t understand why you’re doing it. And like guys like, look, we can’t have a single point of failure. Like now when, when, when we were doing, he was one of the few vendors that we had a single point of failure and everything else in our lives, we have no single point of failure. And when we were doing smaller runs of stuff, it was easier to adjust because if it didn’t come through we can quickly adjust and do something. But when you’re doing larger liquor, I’m sure for you guys, when do you need to start doing larger, larger volume? It’s harder to adjust, right? You need longer lead time, you know, they need time to time to match fact manufacturer. So for us it was, it became important.
00:35:26 Yeah. Um, yeah, it was it w w yeah. It was just too nerve-wracking to have. Right now we have, we’re looking for more sock manufacturers, but we’re kind of in that place where uh, we have one main supplier. No one else set up. It’s a, it’s a scary feeling.
00:35:42 I’m a man. I don’t know if we mentioned this already, but I’m also wearing your socks right now and I just love it. I know, I’m serious. I just left the socks. Those are made in Toronto? Yeah. Are they? Yeah, the long ones that I’m wearing shorts. Oh really? The short ones I wear in the summer and I never thought I’d wear Merino wool in the summer. Do you order the underwear? You don’t want them, I don’t have the underwear. No, I have the socks in the average to make me look the team in your bed. I’m wearing socks again. I’m trying to throw you out into the no, yeah, yeah, no I will. I think you must’ve got me the cheap package. I don’t remember. I probably did. Yeah cause I don’t remember the underwear. So I don’t think you got me the deluxe package for my birthday. Our main factory, the one that we do the most business with and it’s just an awesome place those describing with the basketball and that’s and stuck. I was walking with our, our uh, contacts there and they said, oh that’s the, that’s the factory owner. It’s like the company president and he’s walking in set the coolest looking guy. You know, he’s just like Chinese gay suit. He’s tall. He’s like 6’2″, 6’3″ dressed so sharp. Cause like, you know, like an earpiece in and she’s like, look like you look at him guys look like it’s coming out of a movie. He said Nice. Yeah. Like
00:36:49 he looks like a boss, like the coolest looking guy. And I’m like, does he speak any English? I go, not really. I’m like tell him, uh, one day will be his, his biggest customer. We’re going to be the biggest. And like they said in Mandarin to him and he’s like looking and I thought it was, I was just saying it to be friendly to make them laugh. Right. And it looks like he’s just like an audit and was okay. And he says something back in Mandarin and then they translate it back to me. They say, he says he gives you five years, you better be my biggest within fight. Like totally serious. Like it was, it was being funny. If you’re not, we’re cutting you off yourself now. It’s a mission. Yeah, the translate. Something was lost in the translation show grade. So when you went, when you guys started this company, then when you, when you go through that first burn of money from the campaign, was there enough cash flow that link was the company like kind of churning at that point that you could kind of survive? Cause I think that’s what many entrepreneurs will think. Well like what happens if I don’t continue to sell product it will the business like live on like am I going to survive past one year? Did you guys have that window or did it just start taking off so much that you didn’t even have to worry after after you burned through that first run of money? No, I was worried like right away. Yeah it sounds normal cause that’s what we all worry about that all the time. I think as an entrepreneur I tell Nick all the time, I think you’re just designed to almost always worried. Just always back there. You just deal with it.
00:38:11 Well I was talking a lot with a business coach who he, we hired for us. We were in no position to hire cause he’s super, I saw you guys have the scaling up and Rockefeller Habits Book around here. It’s just one of those gazelles coaches and we worked with him in a previous business but he called him up sometimes just to like get some advice and run some ideas by him. And he was so excited about this so this is great. He said, but Dan, you don’t have a business. You just had a jumpstart. It’s like when you start and you have your own website and you’re selling on your website, that’s when you have a business. And we had all the product, we started shipping, but we were still setting up our Shopify site and I felt like we don’t have a business yet and tell him selling on this store we don’t have a business.
00:38:53 And I remember setting up the site, which was so easy on Shopify because we already had all these assets like photography from the crowdfunding campaign. We’re just plugging into a template. But we didn’t launch our site yet. The site was up, but we didn’t launch it in the sense like any kind of like marketing, like social media posts or anything like that. So we had it up for a few days and then we got in to do some final tweaks before we’re going to start planning this launch campaign that we were going to do. And I went to the back end and we had like a bunch of orders and I had no idea how they even found the site and every like, Oh of course. Because we already had our brand and we’ve already started shipping products. So people were looking for us and they found it but good for you man.
00:39:37 So we rushed back to the warehouse was kind of shift these cause they were sitting there for days. I didn’t even, you didn’t even know about, I didn’t even think to look, I didn’t have the APP on my phone and had the little teaching that comes into Shopify automatically set you up with your merchant accounts or whatever. Was that Shopify payments? Yeah. Okay, good. I don’t use some other, yeah. Got It. Okay. So started shipping and it just kept coming in where like if I did nothing at that point it would still keep going because there was the word of mouth and the product was good and people liked it and they were coming back. But that was just the start. Like it gave, we had 2000 customers from a crowdfunding campaign and they started kept rolling in and uh, yeah I, I w I was started to get less worried and at that point when I felt I had a business, I walked away from it. I, I literally just walked away from my other businesses.
00:40:25 You know what though, there’s something that he’d probably, I’m sure you’ve considered this, but some people listening might not know is that, and I didn’t know that your two buddies that you, that you want it with and they’re probably the same type of people, but you had a lot of goodwill built up from people that you had worked with and help with before. And I think it’s just the value of being a good person. Cause I know when you launch your first, um, the Indiegogo campaign, trying to say Dan’s a good person. Yeah, well I got, you know, I get announced, I saw either posts or emails from multiple people I knew saying, Hey, this guy’s launching this. I know him, you know, to help support him and stuff like that. And I just think over time when you try to help people in, you’re actually just a good person trying to do stuff. Then when, when your time of need comes, people will naturally be like, yeah man, I’d love to lend, lend a hand. You know what I mean?
00:41:07 And it really, really was a factor. Um, I think one of the key things we did to make the crowdfunding campaigns successful was we worked with Indiegogo instead of Kickstarter because they cut a deal with us where they said if you can get 33% of your crowdfunding goal within the first 48 hours, we’ll feature you in our newsletter. And that’s going to be huge for you because there’s a lot of readership and a lot of people buy from it. It’ll be worth a ton of sales. So that was the reason I said we need a 60, 70,000 start the business, but we made it 30,000 because it’s easier to get to 10,000. And I felt, I know enough people that I can get $10,000 in sales of tee shirts just on the people I know. That’s cool. Smart. So, so the first day all we were doing was getting every, including you.
00:41:56 Um, everyone I felt comfortable enough saying, can you just buy like you don’t, no worries if you can’t, if it’s bad timing, but just buy a t-shirt or anything you want. I’m proud of what we’re selling here. You’re going to love it, but you’re really helping me. That’s what you’re doing this for. I need your help. So the first orders that came in I remember was when my brother Brian Demsky and then my business partner’s cousin Sandy. And like I just from all of these familiar names just kept coming in. But because we had so many people coming on the site and buying and we reached that threshold so fast, we started trending. So by the end of the first day I started seeing names like Yohanas and Berlin. I don’t know who that is. And then they started selling here and here all over.
00:42:38 By the end of the campaign, I think we sold an almost 80 or 90 countries. Um, it was all started from having a pack of my own friends and family that were willing to cough up 40, 50 bucks and help the camp good. That’s built up social currency. Yeah. You know that you’ve built huts, loyalty, that’s compounded over years. But if you were someone else, like as so many people when they’re either starting a business or even when they’re there, when they have a business and they’re selling, all they’re trying to do always is sell, sell, sell and ask for more and ask for more than us for more. Whereas if you just do that, people are like, man, just, you know, get lost. Like I’m sick of you. Right? But when you, you’re, when you’re willing to help people and you have these good relationships, you’re like, hey man, I just need a hand.
00:43:22 People are there for you. And then it doesn’t strike me as someone who’s been screwing other people in his other businesses for years, which a lot of people, when they get into business, I was trying to screw someone to serve themselves. And I don’t get the sense of, you’re like, there’s got to be a winner and loser to everything. And there does it like there’s a seriously, and I know that sounds like some bs from like a Ba spiritual book or whatever. Like it, look, if I was listening to this 20 years ago, I’d be like, this guy’s full of shit because yeah, you’re getting soft man. No, because I’m surprised cause I’m like, what do you mean? Whenever there’s an illustration, there’s a winner and loser some, you know, but they’re actually doesn’t have to be right. So. Yep. And I really needed to get people’s attention to and, and try to motivate them to do that.
00:44:01 Even like, I know that even though you had the loyalty, you need to push that message, you really need to call it out. And I do. I do have, you know, I had made connections over the years and I do know people or that they have my back, so I, I could count on that, but we couldn’t risk not having them support. And I remember about half a year earlier or something like that, I got to a message in, in my Facebook messenger from someone that had a crowdfunding campaign and I saw at this point, this was like half a year before I started my own, I stopped paying myself a for my other business. Like I was like in between, in limbo, in purgatory of my life, trying to figure out what the next thing is going to be for me. And I got this message and it said like, I started a crowdfunding campaign.
00:44:43 I don’t really know the guy very well, um, but said, hey dude, I just want to let you know I started a crowdfunding campaign, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. He’s just trying to sell whatever he was selling. And I could just tell it was copied and pay. First of all, I haven’t talked to the guy in years and I could tell it was just copied and pasted to everyone. I felt it’d be very easy for me to know, did not reply to this and he would never even know. And I did, cause I just didn’t want to buy more stuff at the time and I just didn’t think he cared. So I thought how easy would it be if I said don’t messages to people, they can think it’s just a mass message. How do, how can I make it seem or how can I make it so they know that it’s not just like they’re not just a number, I just trying to get their money by actually like need their help and I’m trying to connect with them. So what I did is I made a youtube video for every individual person. So I did about like, Whoa, I didn’t make one for you today. No, I’m sorry, Nicholas lower on Nick was like probably the c list. Can I stick to the refund?
00:45:45 So, but, but it would be, I turn on my Webcam and I’d say from my buddy Dave, I’d be like, Dave, how are you doing? We haven’t spoken to while, uh, how’s your new kid? Whenever I talk something first, let’s say some inside joke and I say, listen, I’m making this video cause I’m actually need to ask you for something. I’m launching this campaign. I put my blood, sweat and tears into this for a whole year. And you don’t worry if you can’t, but like if you can go in and I’ll send you the link below this, below this a message, if you could support, this is what it means to me. And Blah, blah, blah. And uh, I saved it as like Dave and his last name .Mpeg. So instead of getting a generic message, they got this thumbnail video with my face and it says, Dave, last name .mpeg.
00:46:33 It’s so like, how are you not going to click, play and could play right in the messenger window? And then they click play. I said, hey Dave. They know, it’s just to them, it’s almost, you can’t like not respond. And some people said, hey, you know what, I I’ve good luck to you. Like it’s just not good time. No problem. Like I don’t ever want to take your 40 bucks if it’s just like times are tough or whatever. But I was asking these people and forcing at least to elicit a response and I crushed in that first day and we’re trying and we were trending for like for a good week and a half, two weeks, which is just allowed us to, funny how advanced cause that can be considered like advanced marketing is just basic good common sense going the extra mile. Right? Like it’s that you could put it takes work. Right, exactly. They were like, well why would I do that? Why don’t I just send a generic, the BCC automate email. It wasn’t, yeah. So it only took a, it took us a couple of days, but uh, like nonstop work to do those videos cause he had to export.
00:47:30 Yeah. Well, the return and then you got to say is the organization of sending the right one to the right person and yeah, and private and, yeah, and then I’m making them all private. I didn’t want people to look at other people’s, but that work is what made you different, how it out. How did you get that conversation going with Indiegogo to get the, you know, where they proposed, if you hit 30 or 33% of your target, they would put you on the newsletter. Did you approach, is that something where you were like, I’m going to approach them because I know they do this kind of thing? Or did they see the formation of your campaign and say, I think this one’s going to take off?
00:47:58 A friend of mine named Corey, her skew, uh, he said to me, your doing this on Indiegogo. You’re not doing it. Like he didn’t even give me a choice. Uh, and he made a connection and you Gogo and I just listened and he said, you know, do you know, they say second place, he always has to work harder. So Indeigogo second place to Kickstarter. Kickstarter, a much bigger market but trying to get in contact with them and was like, it’s like contacting Facebook onto a person or Google. Right. So, uh, having that personal connection, um, is hugely helpful and helping figure out how to put this thing together. And they propose the deal. They do it all the time because they’re trying to give incentive to people to go on Indiegogo instead of Kickstarter. And I think that was one of the best decisions we did for that recent because we actually had allies there. One of the guys that … Before we even launched the campaign, he came to Toronto for some event and he came and made time to come and have a coffee with me. Like they really care. And that goes a long way. So I maybe could’ve done better on Kickstarter, I don’t know. But the best decision was going on Indiegogo cause it was just like locking in those and from your experience, crowdfunding in general is still a Mo is building momentum as it hit like a plateau of what people are doing on these platforms.
00:49:16 I just generally like for you, I don’t know. I mean our second campaign did better than the first. We also had customers and like some, you know, we already had some people who knew us at that point, so that added to it. But there’s still a huge amount of people going on these websites. I really have to just think it has to do with the idea. I think a lot of, uh, products that were garbage or it didn’t ship have kind of made people a little bit more of a hands on it. Fearful, but you, as long as he could prove that you’re legit, um, and you have a real product. I think if you’re doing a tech product, it’s a little harder for doing a movie that you want people to fund. No one gives a shit. Um, there’s things that won’t work. But I, I think the, I think the landscape is great still. I still can’t believe that factory in Canada smells like shit when he said the word Shit there. I was thinking about the factory can’t anyway. You know what I’m talking down on them more than I should. It’s just like, you know this, I’m just, I go to bed.
00:50:14 Yeah, no, no, no. Just stop playing. I’m gonna explain why. Like I really love it.
00:50:20 Trying to like, I go to China, you get off the airplane,
00:50:25 everything’s new. It’s not LaGuardia. The airport’s if it’s okay, it’s fine. It’s like nothing bad about it. But you, you get on your think you go to Pearson, you want to get to downtown Toronto. But imagine it’s like twice as far now getting from Pearson to downtown Toronto. It can be, you’ll get on your little train and goes, they now have the uptrend and you can get there in like 40 minutes or with or without traffic. You’re good. And that’s a nice convenience. But the maglev from the Shanghai going twice the distance gets you there in eight minutes cause it goes 400 kilometers an hour. Everything in China is the next level. You come, come here. I look at the factories here and I look at the trains here and there’s like everything he is. So it’s funny, it’s so funny you say this. We just did an event with what we have.
00:51:11 We have, uh, like a VIP group within rock stoner circle and we had 150 people out and uh, a new VIP member of ours joined. He’s from China, he still spoken, he has an accent and stuff. So you know, born in China recently here buying some properties and investing in that kind of thing. And He, we were talking about rail and how important it is to Toronto and we were talking about how our rail here is just slow. And he spoke up and he was asking, well why, you know, why, why can’t you just make faster trains and like why are the trains here so slow? God damn slow. I don’t get it either. And now we know the answer because the, the, the, the real consultant that was there was explaining to us that our tracks are from like CN rail tracks that the uh, the tracks that were trained from the freight trains.
00:51:52 We can’t put faster trains on the existing track system in Europe and Asia. They have, they have for the concern, I’m going to be offered for the, like for a passenger train specific rails for just passenger train. So we limit because the slower freight trains, we’re our, our fast passenger trains are using the slow freight train rails. It’s the same system. Yeah. And we haven’t spent the money to invest in these new rails to put the faster trains on. Yeah. It’s crazy. Like you go like I looked up but I wanted to go to some event or is considering going to some event in Edmonton and I looked at it. What would it take to go and by train. That’d be fun. Well first of all it was a triple the price of a flight and it took four days is a triple the price of a flight.
00:52:31 It was crazy. I went to four days. That’s why we’re in a day and go, oh you went into it on a train and went to Montreal once on train. Cause I’m like I think this is when I was younger I was going to see someone that was in school. If they’re a friend I’m like, oh, I’ll take the train. And yeah, it wasn’t much cheaper than a flight at that time maybe. But I remember like this isn’t really cheap and it wasn’t that fast. Like it’s, yeah, I like Montreal train the a train because if you factor in, go into the airport and security and stuff, it’s about the same. Yeah, there’s that distance where may sit there and relax and yeah, you’re just walk on. It’s so simple and like you could just like, Eh, you know, it’s a, it’s a cozier extend. I don’t like leaving from the island airport either.
00:53:10 Cause every time I leave from the island airport method, like it’s just always sketchy. There’s always win. And I don’t know if we’re just missing it, but we have no parking. Like you have to Uber it from Oakville down there, there’s no parking if you drive down, there was just nowhere to put your car. I’ve always left like super early morning, so I get lucky. But yeah. Yeah. At one time I left off the island problems. Dan Downtown Toronto. Yeah. Yeah. I can walk to Billy Bishop. Okay. Yes. So the airport is made for you? It’s not made for a spark in my building the next time. Yeah. Okay. Yeah.
00:53:39 I was going to ask a Tokyo. What, what uh, why Tokyo? Why, is there a reason you’re going to Tokyo for two, three weeks or whatever you mentioned? Um, I’m going for two, three weeks just because I might as well stay. Well, and how have you gone through doing like a thing at the university. Some university in Tokyo. How’d you get hooked up with that? My brother, he lives in Tokyo. Oh, okay. Yeah, he connected through someone he knows who runs up, who said he’s working, he’s got a good corporate job. That’s my, my uh, I was talking about my oldest brother. Okay. Got It. Different brother. He’s there. He teaches English, plays music. He’s in a touring band. Yeah. And he said you have some speaking gig. Yeah. He said that if you can come and do this, do it.
00:54:18 And I’m, for me, I just, like I told Nick, I’m like, I want to start doing more podcast. Speaking of it, just like try it out, so I’m like, hey, how cool it’d be to go to tell you know what? I can’t tell you how helpful this is. Just hearing your story because countless people will come to ask and talk about our story. By the way, when you said I’m quitting your job when you have those laughing. Yeah, yeah. You said I don’t want to risk it. Wouldn’t it be advised? I don’t know. The way you said it was basically like you don’t want to risk everything if you have a family and you just quit your job. That’s what I, I was in the corporate world for 10 years, a mortgage on my house, a four month old daughter or a 10 month old daughter and a four year old son and with Nick I just quit because I was at your place, but I didn’t have the entrepreneurial side.
00:54:56 I was in the corporate world and I told Nick, if I don’t quit my job right now and start something entrepreneurial, I’m going to put my head through the drywall in this office. Like, I’m literally going to run through the drywall. And I think my wife thankfully knew where I was and she supports, I don’t know, looking back how she supported me, I’m so thankful you probably lied to her and the amount of money that we spent and it was risky. It was so you’re speaking the truth Dan, cause we went into, we, you know, we had access to some credit lines and stuff that we dipped into heavily. You know, we went through 80 I never forget when we hit the $80,000 mark negative on that credit line, which might not sound like a lot, but when you are supporting a family and a mortgage and no money’s coming in the other way and you hit 80,000 and you don’t see the light yet, the to the turn that that got scary a little bit.
00:55:41 But then we started making some rock star wars saw the business starting. We just didn’t have the income yet, but we saw the demand growing. So we’re like, there’s some, it’s not like we’re just like, well let’s just keep going like blindly. That’s, that’s a good point. I held my job for six months until we saw there were some revenue starting. There was some pipeline being formed and I think I would do the same. Like I think I, I just, maybe it’s because I’ve been an entrepreneur for my entire working career that I feel like I couldn’t give up like my life and what I want to do. But I had my other business so I kind of felt like I was sort of in that position. The whole point of like what I was trying to say is like, it’s like there really is no excuse. Like if you feel like, I think you should be able to just go broke and like live
00:56:24 on less and try out what you need to try out. And you could always go back to working. So, and I think I would do that too. But for me it’s hard to give that advice to pee. But I, cause I’m the same way. I agree with you 100% but sorry I cut you off. But like with crowdfunding, I, I am an example that I didn’t need to stop doing other stuff. Like I could still work on my other business until I’m like, this is a real business. And the second I identified this is actually a business. Like if it failed, I would not be in the same situation, the crowdfunding campaign if it failed. But it worked. So I was, I’m proof that you like I only did it on Friday nights. We started at 8:00 PM when Demo, what am I, three partners put his two kids to bed because he had two young kids.
00:57:05 You put them to sleep, we’d go to his place, we’d work starting at about eight o’clock tell about one to 3:00 AM depending on how much energy we had. And we did that for a year and every other week we’d take a Saturday or he take a day off work and we’d do like a day. So, on the complete sidelines we started a whole business. And in those times cause that’s interesting on those times who decided what you were going to work on? Like who had the plan of like, okay I guess we got to get these tee shirts design. Like was it just a random of like what needs to be done next or on those days did you guys like okay guys for these next few hours, like this is what needs to be done. We would, we would plan what we’ll do in the next session at the end of each session.
00:57:43 Okay. So it’s okay we did this next, what we really need to work on is this. And sometimes that would involve a couple of little things that we might need to do throughout the week. But small things like book a photographer because now we have the product, we got to take some photos and stuff like that. So, but you know what, it was like the discipline you’ve got to, you had to do, it couldn’t be easy cause then that time you were living king west I think. Right. And this is Friday night. So, and this is Friday night and you’re leaving when everyone’s going out to bars and stuff like that and you’re coming home and the parties are going on, you’re in a bad place. That’s a great place to be in. Aye. Aye. Aye. Aye. Look, when you go and your belief that you’re building something and you really believe in it and you come back to king, you come back to him where I live, right in King West and you see those animals, that’s what they like.
00:58:30 I’m like, I don’t even recognize my area when it’s like 2:00 AM on a Saturday night. Like it’s, these evil are monsters. So, and I think of all the great work that we just did. I just, and I just see how, and I didn’t feel like I was missing out. I am getting enough sleep. Uber’s tripping into burst. That’ll tell you my favorite thing in my neighborhood is, uh, it’s not the, the, the monsters at night. It’s when I have a good night’s sleep cause I don’t do the Friday nights and stuff anymore. So sometimes all, I’ll just get to bed early and wake up and have a dog, so I’ll take him out to the dog park across the street. Then Saturday or Sunday morning at like 6:37 AM really out of other places. Oh, it’s great. A lot of walking. The walk of shame is, Oh yeah, just see someone and like, oh, like a woman in a tight little plastic dress. Just like clicking out of like, like the sun is like, ah. It’s getting into a new super like just like what they do
00:59:22 and I’m just standing there. I’m fresh as a daisy, you know, I already showered and had breakfast. I’m walking my dog and I’m just like, I could just see you poignant or like a winking. That’s a fun here. Know what happened man. I see you Dan. Thank you so much Nick. I don’t know if there’s anything else you want. It was I, I it slipped my mind. Yeah. Thank you so much for doing this. Really appreciate it. A lot of what you just shared I think is going to really help some people who are thinking about if they should, when they should, how they could do you post your thing and put show notes anywhere. We do put show notes yet cause I’ll, I’ll, I’ll give you a couple links. So I did two articles on Reddit. I just posted, one is about crowdfunding and a lot of the things I talked about, you asked about how he found her manufacturers and stuff.
01:00:07 Um, when I did the crowdfunding campaign, I, I went to everyone I know that has done crowdfunding campaigns. I got every piece of information I could to try to like apply it to our own campaign and went to all the successful campaigns I liked. We copied all the little design things that worked for them. Um, but I made a post of the stuff that I didn’t find that we did on our own, including like that little like youtube thing and, and uh, how we did Facebook ads for our campaign and stuff. And I mapped it out. So I’ll send you a link to that. But that’s like a really comprehensive thing that’s just unique to our candidates that you really, really get that. That is huge. Thank you so much. And we will post that on the show notes. So for anyone listening to this, if you go to rockstarinnercircle.com/podcast you’ll find Dan’s episode there and on the show notes we’ll have that.
01:00:53 So that’s huge. Yeah, it’s really comprehensive and one thing fighting manufacturers, how he did the whole youtube thing, um, how we could deal with it and you go stuff I touched on but all in depth they’re awesome. And for Unbound the best place to go to is the website, unboundmerino.com we’ll also put a link to unboundmerino.com in there. And then are are you guys on? Is unbound on Facebook? Is there a media Unbound Merino everywhere saw instagram.com/unboundmerino, facebook.com/UnBoundMerino. Okay. Awesome man. Thank you so much for doing this. That’s a great story. Cool. Cool. Thank you having me. Thank you. Hey, everyone’s hopefully enjoyed that. It’s great that Dan is a Toronto based entrepreneur as well, local guys. So we kind of just love the whole story. The URL is unboundmerino.com. Again, so, uh, just feel grateful to support his business and be a customer of his and for him to come on and share that. Just that was a fun chat. So, uh, hopefully it took something away from that. And if you are listening to this and you want to come out to our entrepreneur summit to learn some entrepreneurial stuff from marketing to business operations, I think we’re bringing in at our accountant, uh, this year we have special guests coming in to share their stories as well. You can get all the details for that at Rockstarinnercircle.com/summit, that’s Rockstarinnercircle.com/summit. That’s it for now, everyone, until next time. Your life, your terms.